A series of land acquisitions is moving the Northeast Gateway project – not to be confused with the Worthington Gateway development to the west – toward the start of construction in about a year, according to Tom Lindsey, Worthington's law director.
The Northeast Gateway at Sancus Boulevard and Worthington-Galena, East Wilson Bridge and Huntley roads now bears a similar name to the Worthington Gateway at the former Holiday Inn site, 7007 N. High St., after the latter, previously known as the Village at Worthington Square, was renamed by its developer.
The Northeast Gateway is the moniker city officials have chosen for the renovation and redesign of the major intersection on the north side of the city, just south of Interstate 270.
The right-of-way-acquisition legislation introduced by Worthington City Council on March 18 will involve road reconfigurations for the intersection improvements, according to Lindsey.
The two parcels in the legislation are at 401 Wilson Bridge Road and 7200 Huntley Road, according to Dan Whited, Worthington's service and engineering director. The resolution to acquire the land was approved 7-0 by City Council on March 18.
Lindsey said several more parcels would come before City Council as the project moves forward. He said the 7200 Huntley Road address, also referred to as parcel 15, is particularly crucial for the project.
"That needs to occur to allow some utility relocation ... so that construction work can proceed," he said.
Lindsey said the project has more than 100 related "real-estate interests." Some involve temporary easements so equipment can be stored on the property and other types of uses that don't involve permanent acquisition, he said.
He said closings on eight to 10 of the parcels are due in the next month, and another 15 to 18 are somewhere in the process.
"(For) most of these, we're taking additional right of way off of the front of the property; that's why there are so many," Lindsey said.
City Council would not have to approve all of them, but only those for which the price exceeds $30,000 or the negotiated price of the property exceeds the fair-market estimate by $3,000, Lindsey said.
Lindsey said both parcels introduced March 18 meet this qualification because they are more than the $30,000 amount and exceed their fair-market value by $3,000.
The Huntley Road property is valued at $810,000, and the Wilson Bridge Road property is valued at $170,000, Lindsey said.
In terms of cost for the project, he said, the city is paying 20 percent and 80 percent will be paid for by the state.
Lindsey said the land-acquisition process involves state and federal funding and ODOT regulations for the project.
"I anticipate that we'll have more coming forward at different times (as contracts are signed)," he said.
Lindsey said demolition work on the 7200 Huntley Road parcel would begin this summer because the road reconfiguration would require a building on the lot to be demolished.
He said the bulk of the "true" road construction would start in spring 2020.